Mr. Raynor, Margaret would never have thought of disobeying the injunction: but when Mrs. St. Clare said, "If you choose to marry him, do so, but I shall wash my hands of you," it put the idea into Margaret's head. Mrs. St. Clare had used the words because they came uppermost in her anger, never supposing that any advantage could be taken of them. To her daughter they wore a different aspect. Right or wrong—though of course it was wrong, not right—she looked upon it as a half-tacit permission: and from that moment the idea of marrying Frank with no one's approval but her own, took possession of her. To lose him seemed terrible in Margaret's eyes; she would almost as soon have lost life itself: and instinct whispered a warning that in a short time Mrs. St. Clare would contrive to separate them, and they might never meet again.

It was of this terrible prospect of separation, or rather of avoiding the prospect, that Mr. Raynor and

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